Category Archives: FWQS

Hardest blocks – Farmer’s wife quilt sampler

The most difficult thing about Farmer’s wife sampler is the number of blocks rather than block complexity. Most blocks are quite straight forward to cut and assemble. Having said that, there’s one block that stood up for me and that was Homemaker. For some reason I just couldn’t make this block work.


I must say that I’m not the most experienced quilter in the world and up until this project I had only made a handful of easy quilts.

This block gave me such a hard time that it deserves the first place and almost only place.

I had to press this block into submission. I made it twice. I even considered not using the block at all.

Somehow the sewing instructions didn’t help much.

The second time I changed the way I put all the pieces together and the result was better but far from right.

Still I had to add an extra bit of fabric to it and press the block really hard.

All the other blocks were more or less fine to assemble. The only difficulty was having enough patience to sit through cutting the many pieces and then stitching them together.

Here the rest of the hardest blocks for me. Which blocks did you find the hardest to make?

Four Winds

Very time consuming block. I think the choice of fabric wasn’t the best. It lacks contrast. With a better choice of fabrics this could have been one of my favourite blocks.

Spider legs

This one took forever! Perhaps it felt longer because I was almost done with all blocks and it was the last hurdle so to speak.

Star Gardener

Nice easy block but too time consuming.

Shooting star

I had to add a small strip to one side of this block. Somehow I’m not able to sew triangles with funny angles.

Country Path

Garden Path

One of my favourites too.

More information about how I am making this quilt.



Easiest blocks – Farmer’s wife sampler quilt

I’m not done with FWQS yet!

There were simple blocks and there were beautiful and simple blocks.  My selection includes not only the easiest blocks -there are many more than those- but blocks that are both easy and beautiful.

Which blocks did you find easy and beautiful?

Waste Not

Also one of my top 10.

Churn Dash

This is a very common block. I actually published a tutorial for an improv patchwork quilt using this block in a different variations.

I think that what makes this block striking is the choice of fabrics.


Mother’s Dream

Friendship Block

Old Windmill

Calico Puzzle

More information about how I am making this quilt.



Top 10 favourites – Farmer’s wife quilt sampler

What are my favourite blocks? This is a difficult choice because I like many of the blocks in this quilt.

I like them for various reasons such as the block design, the fabrics I used or the colour scheme. Which ones are your favourite blocks? Here is my selection:

Peaceful Hours


Waste Not

Attic Windows

Garden Path

Noon & Light

Flower Basket

Flower Pot



More information about how I am making this quilt.


On making the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Sampler

The quilt is finally being used!

It has taken over 2 years to complete all the blocks in the book and it feels like an achievement for sure. This is the largest and most complex quilt I’ve ever made.

There are some things that I have learnt from making the 110 blocks in the book and which I explain below the ridiculously long graphic with photos of the majority of blocks.


I have spent many hours making these blocks. Some are quite quick and easy to make, others can take 2 or 3 hours.

In which order I made the blocks

Before I started I thought of making the easy blocks first and the hard ones last, or the other way round but then, after looking at the order the blocks appeared in the book I realised that block difficulty was mixed, so I decided to just make them in the order of the book which, by the way, is alphabetical.

I made the blocks in batches. I first cut a handful of them and then I stitched them.

After I had had enough making blocks I put them away for a few days or weeks, even months, while I concentrated on other projects.  My only deadline was to finish the quilt by July 2014.

Failed blocks and unpicking pieces

I only had to make 2 blocks twice though I had to unpick many pieces regularly. I also had to add a small strip of fabric to a couple of blocks which turned out a lot smaller on one side than the 6 1/5 inch square they’re supposed to be.

Sewing and cutting accuracy

This quilt has helped me improving accuracy though many of the pieces in my blocks don’t match exactly and I had to press some blocks into submission.

As much as possible I pressed the seams open to reduce bulk.

While I was making the blocks I always had the impression that my blocks weren’t exactly square and that I would have problems putting them together with the sashing. This hasn’t been the case though. Except for a couple of blocks, the rest have been just fine.

Quilt style and block placement

I chose to make a scrappy quilt using white as my base colour to add some light and breathing space to the blocks. I used Moda Bella Snow.

While the quilt is scrappy I tried to use some colour scheme for each block such as reds, blacks/grays, greens, or a mix of complimentary colours such as violet and yellow, red and green and so on.

I grouped the blocks by colour starting in the middle of the quilt top with reds and then the other colours around the red with brown and blacks on the outer ring.

Corner triangles

The corner triangles are also scrappy. I saw this in another finished FWQS quilt and quite liked it.

Patchwork vs quilting

Choosing fabrics, making blocks and assembling the top is always my favourite part. And quilting is my least favourite. The arm in my machine is only 9 inch wide so I thought a queen size quilt would be quite a challenge to quilt. It was probably the reason it took me so long to complete.

The quilt was very heavy but overall it was far easier to quilt than I anticipated. My stippling doesn’t look as professional as if it had been made by a professional using a long arm machine but it’s still a beautiful quilt. And I it has encouraged me to make more this size.

Next post I’ll show you my top 10 favourite blocks in the FWQS.

Farmer’s wife sampler quilt – blocks 108 to 111

This lot of blocks completes all the blocks in the book.

More information about how I am making this quilt.

View all the blocks I have done so far.



Wood Lily